Burl Mease Rhodarmer, of Murfreesboro, who proudly served our country as a member of the U.S. Air Force in both war and peace, died at the age of 91 on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Adams Place surrounded by the love of family and friends.
Mr. Rhodarmer was born in Ft. Collins, Colo., to the late, Noah B. and Betsy Mease Rhodarmer. His family returned to Canton, N.C., where the Rhodarmers had lived for generations, shortly after his birth.
Mr. Rhodarmer developed his passion for airplanes from the age of ten when he was a passenger in a biplane piloted by an early barnstormer. In 1942 he joined the US Army Air Corps after working for several years in an essential war job at the ship yards at Newport News, Virginia. His basic training was on B-17s and B-24s at the old Smyrna Air Field. During his 27-year career in the United States Air Force Mr. Rhodarmer served all over the globe. In the Korean Was Mr. Rhodarmer was a crew chief principally responsible for maintenance of F-86s with the 335th Fighter Squadron. After Korea he returned to Ruther ford County and served at Sewart Air Force Base for over 12 years as a maintenance chief on C-130s and where he ultimately became the line chief for all aircraft at the base. Mr. Rhodarmer attained the rank of Chief Master Sergeant and NCO-In-Charge of the Ninth Air Force before his retirement in 1968 at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina.
After retirement Mr. Rhodarmer moved to Nashville when he married Myra Webb Edgens, his beloved wife of 42 years. He worked for Capital Chevrolet and Buford Brothers in Nashville before fully retiring to travel with Myra and spend more time with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mr. Rhodarmer was an active member of Glencliff Presbyterian Church in Nashville for many years.
In 2006 Mr. and Mrs. Rhodarmer moved to Adams Place in Murfreesboro. “Mr. Burl,” as he was called, thrived in the atmosphere provided by outstanding administrators and staff, many new friendships, and shrimp cocktails every night at dinner in Independent Living at Adams Place and with the special care he received in his later years among the highly attentive and thoughtful staffs of the Rehabilition and Health Centers of Adams Place. Along with the constant care of Myra and other devoted family members, Brenda Mallet of Murfreesboro was Mr. Burl’s special caregiver and dear friend for 2-1/2 years. His success in keeping every one smiling, looking forward to his holiday dress ups, and eager to see him every day can be attributed in no small part to the assistance of Brenda, for which the family will always be grateful.
Mr. Rhodarmer is survived by his devoted wife Myra Rhodarmer of Murfreesboro and other members of his loving family: his children; Nancy Allen and husband Jerry L. Allen of Murfreesboro; Ricki Tigert Helfer and her husband Michael S. Helfer of Washington D.C.; William K Rhodarmer and wife Cherie Greear of Nashville; and his step-children, Joe Edgens and wife Linda of Nashville and Kay Williams of Nashville. His beloved step son David Edgens predeceased him. He is also survived by his loving grandchildren, Melinda Allen of Nashville, Matthew Helfer of Washington D.C.; Derrick Edgens of Murfreesboro, Tyler Edgens of Nashville, Kari Edgens of New York City, Michele Jennings of Nashville; and Clint Townsend of Oklahoma City and seven great-grandchildren;. His sisters, Jane Thompson and Julia Melton both of North Carolina survive him and his sister Sarah Woods predeceased him.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be made in memory of Mr. Rhodarmer to the Wounded Warrior Project, 223 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Suite 301 Nashville, Tennessee 37203, or the Tennessee Fisher House Foundation, P.O. Box 774, Brentwood, TN 37024-0774. Both organizations serve America’s military in their time of need.
The funeral service will be at 3:00PM Sunday at Woodfin Funeral Chapel, Murfreesboro. Pam Pilot and Phil Potratz will officiate. Burial will follow in Evergreen Cemetery will full Military Honors. Visitation will be after 1:00PM till service time on Sunday, October 21, at Woodfin Funeral Chapel, Murfreesboro. 615-893-5151 www.woodfinchapel.com